08/13/2008 11:00PM

La Chica Rica apt to have a nice trip


When Pimlico closes for training at the end of this month, trainer Crystal Pickett might be wise to think about relocating her stable to Maryland's neighboring state, West Virginia. At least her 5-year-old mare La Chica Rica would love it there.

La Chica Rica, who has reeled off four consecutive victories since March at Mountaineer Racetrack and Charles Town, will be favored to make it five in a row when she ships in from Pimlico for Saturday night's $100,000 Charles Town Distaff Sprint at 4 1/2 furlongs.

The leading earner in a field of 10 fillies and mares with $369,234, La Chica Rica has been ultra-consistent in her road trips to West Virginia, where she has earned Beyer Speed Figures in the narrow range of 88 to 94 in five starts. The only loss among five starts in that span was a close second in the $75,000 New Year's Eve at Mountaineer. She is 4 for 4 since March 31, all in front-running fashion, at distances ranging from 4 1/2 to six furlongs.

The 3-year-olds Grand Obsession and Story of a Lion, separated by a neck in the $100,000 Lady Charles Town on June 21, pose the biggest threats to La Chica Rica.

Grand Obsession, based at Churchill Downs with trainer Eddie Kenneally, rallied from fifth to just get up in the Lady Charles Town, a race that produced three next-out winners.

Story of a Lion, second in the Lady Charles Town at 47-1, came back to win a slowly run $25,000 optional claimer five weeks ago.

Trainer Steve Klesaris brings in a dangerous coupled entry of 3-year-old Casanova Killer and 5-year-old Circuit Breaker. Casanova Killer surrendered a four-length lead in the final furlong of the Lady Charles Town, but will ensure that La Chica Rica can't loaf on the front end. Circuit Breaker, whose last two appearances at Charles Town produced victories by a combined margin of more than 19 lengths, makes the second start of her current form cycle after flashing high speed and tiring in a restricted stakes during the first week of Saratoga's meet.

o Julie B, 11 for 15 locally but 0 for 6 elsewhere, returns to her home track and her best distance for the $50,000 Sadie Hawkins Handicap, a seven-furlong stakes restricted to West Virginia-bred fillies and mares.

Her opponents include Carnival Chrome, who upset Julie B when they last met in last fall's $315,000 West Virginia Cavada Breeders Classic at seven furlongs.